CLARK, NJ – Arthur L. Johnson High School students and alumni were honored and awarded during the annual ALJ H.S. Alumni Association’s Scholarship and Hall of Fame dinner on Thursday evening at Gran Centurions.

Eight high school students were presented with $1,000 scholarships and five alumni, including Mayor Sal Bonaccorso, were inducted into the 2018 Hall of Fame. Due to a local prom and illness, several students were unable to attend the banquet.

“There were 21 applicants for scholarships,” Art Lundgren, president of the ALJ Alumni Association said. “Everything was redacted, so we chose them without names. Young people, if you got a scholarship, you got it based on your credentials and all the work you’ve done."

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Scholarship chairperson Dolores Toth introduced the scholarship recipients:

  • Chloe Hessler (Ken and Oat Hauswald Medical and Nursing Scholarship)
  • Gregory Zukowski (ALJ Alumni Scholarship)
  • Brenner Gull (Susan (Bakum) Carovillano Memorial Scholarship)
    • (Not in Attendance)
  • Samantha Hayden (Ralph Marano ’65 Scholarship)
    • (Not in Attendance)
  • Samuel Curran (Ralph Marano ’65 Scholarship)
  • George Visconti (Donald Storms ’59 Scholarship)
  • Saga Elsekhely (Meg Walsh Entrepreneurship Scholarship for Women)
  • Amy Wysocki (Robert L. Kastner Scholarship)
    • (Not in Attendance)

Lundgren introduced each of the 2018 Hall of Fame Inductees, who received Crusader blankets and a plaque with a copy of their high school yearbook photo. The inductees were:

  • Kurt Epps (Distinguished Faculty)
  • Eileen (Bergstedt) Parkinson (Accomplished Professional)
  • Sal Bonaccorso (Community Contributor)
  • David Durante (Accomplished Professional)
  • Edwin “Skip” Anderson (Crusader Pride)

Epps served as a teacher at ALJ for 37 years. Parkinson wrote, produced and hosted the television special “Greater Things to Come” for CBS, wrote two books and serves as the Chicago branch president of the Screen Actors Guild. Bonaccorso is Clark’s longest-serving mayor, Durante founded a men’s gymnastics team at ALJ, went on to the Olympics and owns Power Monkey Fitness and Anderson, a dentist, is president of Professional Dental Associates.

“I can honestly say that the town is running at a great, great level because of cooperating with the school district and the mayor and council’s office,” Bonaccorso said. “It means a lot. Clark is a true community, a true hometown.”

During the presentations, guests enjoyed a buffet dinner and dessert, along with a video presentation. Following the speeches, Lundgren lead the guests in a rendition of the school’s Alma Mater.

“Hopefully, in 10 years, the scholarship winners will qualify for the Hall of Fame,” Lundgren said. “We thank you for being such wonderful students.”